Full steam ahead for capital eatery’s festive season

With the festive season drawing closer, SLTN spoke to Roy Brett, chef and owner of Ondine in Edinburgh, about his expectations ahead of Christmas and New Year 2023. 

• What are your predictions for the 2023 festive season? Do you expect to be busier this year than in 2021/2022, or much the same?

I think that we will be much busier this year than we have been in the past few years. I think the city in general is much busier as we are already starting to see more business in and around Edinburgh with a lot more tourists and travellers, which can only be a positive. 

It does depend though on the humanitarian crisis that is happening in the Middle East and Ukraine right now. We are only as stable as the economy is. Edinburgh is starting to show good signs so we will wait and see, only time will tell.

• Are you running any particular food and/or drink offers at Ondine over the festive season this year?

This year, we will be running our A La Carte menu and a seasonal menu throughout the festive period. 

We anticipate a lot of shellfish sales this year. 

After 15 years of Ondine, we know what expectations are from our customers and what they want during the festive season.

• What do you expect to be the most popular drinks and meals during December this year?

As it is a celebration, most people will tend to open a bottle of bubbles, I would predict strong sales on Champagne and sparkling wine throughout the month of December. 

As we specialise in seafood at Ondine, we celebrate with seafood over the festive period. I would imagine that lobsters and langoustines will be our main sellers this year. 

These are also the dishes that people don’t always know how to cook or prepare properly at home. 

These are always very popular for us around the festive season, and I think that they will be a firm favourite this year.

• How challenging is it to keep quality of food, drink and service up at such a busy time of year, and how do you ensure standards don’t slip?

Not only in December but every day we as a team at Ondine strive to be better than the day before. We have a mentality to achieve the best results in our quality of food, drink, and service throughout the year and to do this we must be on our best possible game and deliver. 

Things obviously happen that are out of our control as we are a people’s business, but we will always strive to deliver the best experience possible. 

We do a lot of regular training with our team, we invest in our people with staff training, product knowledge, comfortable uniforms to wear, good staff meals and we always try to maintain a positive morale amongst our staff members. 

It is these combinations of positives that help our team to deliver daily and of course throughout the month of December and the busy festive period.